Abstract

Over the last twenty-five years, philosophers have offered increasingly more sophisticated accounts of the nature and wrongness of racism. But very little in this literature discusses what is distinctive to anti-Asian racism. This gap exists partly because philosophy, like much of U.S. culture, has been influenced by civic narratives that center anti-black racism in ways that leave vague anti-Asian racism. We discuss this conceptual gap and its effects on understanding anti-Asian racism. In response to this problem, we offer an account of anti-Asian racism not beholden to the black-white binary. In our view, xenophobia, as a form of civic ostracism, plays a distinctive role in anti-Asian racism and admits of a complexity that is worth philosophical study. We also begin an exploration of a correlated phenomenon, namely xenophilia. It has a peculiar, often pernicious, presence in anti-Asian racism and sexism, but it is morally more complex than xenophobia.

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